How to Keep Drains Flowing Smoothly

Vinegar and Baking soda

Keeping everything running smoothly can be a challenge with a busy family. Chances are you dash home from the office for a quick meal, then drop the kids at soccer practice while you hit the craft store for supplies your son needs for science class tomorrow. When life is this hectic, a clogged drain could send you into a tailspin. To make life easier, we have put together some proactive tips you can use to avoid clogs without investing much time or effort.

  • Next time you stop by your favorite superstore, pick up a drain strainer for the shower. Be sure to use a paper towel to clear the drain, especially if anyone using your shower has long hair. Soap can gum up the pipes, too, so less is best!
  • Not all food scraps should go into the garbage disposal. For instance, egg shells may seem harmless, but the hard sharp edges of the broken pieces will collect other things coming down the drain and eventually cause a clog. It’s best to put your egg shells into the trash.
  • Flour thickens when you add it to water. Flour down your drain will stick to the sides of the pipes and catch other things coming down as well. It is wise to throw into the trash can also.
  • Coffee grounds will also build up in your pipes and cause blockage. They are one of the most common cause of drain problems. You should always dispose of coffee grounds in your trash can, or better yet use them for composting.
  • Pasta or rice will expand when it absorbs water, and can cause blockage. Pasta is also made of flour so it will stick to the pipes and collect other things.
  • Everyone has undoubtedly heard that feminine products clog pipes. Toilet paper is the paper that should go down the toilet. It is designed to break down in water. Paper towels, facial tissue, cotton balls, disposable diapers and other absorbent materials will hold water and cause blockage.
  • Products that claim to be flushable can clog your pipes. Cat litter, wipes, condoms, bandaids, and dental floss are all commonly flushed items that can cause problems.

If you do get a clog, try to plunge, don’t use harsh drain cleaners! Drain cleaning chemicals will corrode your plumbing and then you will have a bigger headache. Instead, flush them weekly with a half cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Let it fizz in the drain for ten minutes, then pour in four cups of boiling water.

Follow these simple tips to avoid clogs and you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.